United States District Court, D. Minnesota
M. Munoz-Kaphing and John Docherty, UNITED STATES
ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, for plaintiff.
Lavarice Reese, pro se.
Patrick J. Schiltz United States District Judge
Dontay Reese pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1) and is awaiting
sentencing. After pleading guilty, Reese (among other things)
filed a motion to represent himself, which the Court granted
after conducting a hearing on the matter.
matter is before the Court on Reese's motion to dismiss
the indictment due to alleged defects in the grand-jury
proceedings, including alleged prosecutorial misconduct and
the alleged exclusion of minorities from the grand jury. He
also seeks disclosure of the names of the grand jurors as
well as grand-jury transcripts to support his allegations,
arguing, in particular, that false and misleading evidence
was presented to the grand jury. Reese further contends that
he is entitled to grand-jury transcripts so that he can more
effectively cross-examine the witnesses who testified before
the grand jury.
respect to Reese's motion to dismiss the indictment:
Reese's guilty plea forecloses any challenge based on
non-jurisdictional defects in the prior proceedings.
United States v. Seay, 620 F.3d 919, 921 (8th Cir.
2010). As a result, Reese is barred from seeking dismissal
based on alleged prosecutorial misconduct before the grand
jury. See United States v. Coleman, 653 Fed.Appx.
712, 713-14 (11th Cir. 2016) (per curiam) (defendant's
guilty plea foreclosed challenge to alleged perjured
testimony before grand jury); Any v. United States,
47 F.3d 1156, 1995 WL 83965, at *4 (1st Cir. 1995) (per
curiam) (unpublished table decision) (same); see also
United States v. Cain, 134 F.3d 1345, 1352-53 (8th Cir.
1998) (defendant's guilty plea waived claim of
prosecutorial misconduct). Similarly, Reese can no longer
seek dismissal of the indictment based on the racial
composition of the grand jury. See Tollett v.
Henderson, 411 U.S. 258, 266-67 (1973).
respect to Reese's motion for grand-jury transcripts: A
court may authorize disclosure of grand-jury transcripts
“at the request of a defendant who shows that a ground
may exist to dismiss the indictment because of a matter that
occurred before the grand jury[.]” Fed. R. Crim. P.
6(e)(3)(E)(ii). “A criminal defendant must point to
specific evidence of prosecutorial overreaching in order to
show particularized need to consult grand jury
transcripts.” United States v. Lame, 716 F.2d
515, 518 (8th Cir. 1983). Reese has no evidence that any
prosecutor engaged in misconduct before the grand jury. His
conclusory and baseless allegation that false evidence was
presented to the grand jury fails to meet this standard.
Moreover, as noted, Reese's guilty plea forecloses his
challenge to the indictment; Reese therefore cannot show that
a “ground may exist to dismiss the indictment because
of a matter that occurred before the grand jury.” Reese
also states that he needs the transcripts to cross-examine
government witnesses. It is true that, under the Jencks Act,
the government must disclose statements of a government
witness that relate to the subjects to which the witness
testifies on direct examination. 18 U.S.C. § 3500(b).
But there will not be any government witnesses testifying on
direct examination in this case. Reese has pleaded guilty, so
there will be no trial, and the government has given no
indication that it intends to present testimony at the
sentencing hearing. Reese is therefore not entitled to
grand-jury transcripts under the Jencks Act.
respect to Reese's motion for production of information
concerning the composition of the grand jury: Under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1867(f), litigants are generally entitled to inspect,
reproduce, and copy “records [and] papers used by the
jury commission or clerk in connection with the jury
selection process” for the purpose of preparing a
motion to challenge the procedures used to select the grand
or petit jury. See United States v. Stanko, 528 F.3d
581, 586-87 (8th Cir. 2008). As noted, however, Reese's
guilty plea forecloses his challenge to the indictment on the
basis of defects in the selection of the grand jury. As a
result, Reese is not entitled to grand-jury selection
records. See United States v. Valentin, 188 F.3d
510, 1999 WL 644381, at *1 (6th Cir. 1999) (unpublished table
on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and
proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT defendant's
motion to dismiss and for disclosure of ...